Interesting interview with Dr. Marc B. Shapiro at the Jewish Press.
Q: What will your next book be about?
A: My next book is called Studies in Maimonides and His Interpreters...And then, following that, I have a contract to do a book that will be called Changing the Immutable: How Orthodox Judaism Rewrites Its History. It’s about how uncomfortable ideas, which used to be acceptable, have basically have been moved out of the tradition through censorship.
But what really might do it is a paper to come out before that:
Q: In one of your recent works you mention that you are writing an article discussing many laws found in the Shulchan Aruch that were not or are not kept by Jews. Can you elaborate?
A: It’s just another misconception people have that the Shulchan Aruch is always the last word in halacha, when there’s plenty of things we do which are not in accordance with it.
According to the Shulchan Aruch, when you lend money to someone, you need to do it in front of witnesses. Despite that ruling, however, nowadays if you lend your friend 50 dollars, you don’t do it in front of witnesses. Already the acharonim want to know why we don’t follow the Shulchan Aruch.
There are loads of examples. Some halachos in the Shulchan Aruch didn’t become accepted because other poskim argued or there was a tradition predating the Shulchan Aruch; others, because they were too difficult to keep, and then later poskim came and found justifications.
I think this sounds more explosive than it is. Everyone who knows halacha knows that there’s plenty of stuff we don’t do according to the Shulchan Aruch; this is not controversial.